Instructions: This paper is not a story of your life before or after a decision; it is not a step by step account of an event. The Causal essay in my English classes may be done in one of two ways, but do not mix the two and do both causes and effects of some decision. Should be at least 1,000 words.
Option 1 is to explain the causes that led to a decision you made (or some event such as an election). For example, you may have made the decision to move out of your parent’s home into a place of your own. In the intro, you “set the stage” by telling in general terms the outline of your situation. You would then discuss the reasons for this in the body of the essay. The conclusion might bring the reader up to date on the current situation. It might also include your insight on this decision now that time has passed. Was it a good decision? What did you learn about yourself and/or others as a result of this decision? Would you recommend this course of action to others? What are your predictions for the future based on this choice?
Outline: Thesis is the decision you made (or some other event) and some comment about it
Body Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Give one reason you made this choice (or one reason that this event occurred)
Body Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Give another reason you made this choice
Body Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Give another reason you made this choice
Option 2 is to discuss a decision you made (or some other occurrence, such as a war or law) and its consequences, the effects rather than the causes of a decision. The Intro might give the background before making the decision, but the body would only contain results of the decision. The conclusion might, as in the first option, bring the reader up to date if the body had not done so in the effects part of the essay. Again, the conclusion might contain some insight into this decision. Answer the questions listed for option 1, such as what did you learn from this decision or occurrence? Would you do it again if you had the chance?
Thesis: the decision you made and some comment about it
Body Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Describe one outcome of this decision or event
Body Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Describe another outcome of this decision
Body Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Describe a third outcome of this decision
Choose whichever method suits your topic. Consider the poem above by Robert Frost. Sometimes when we “go against the crowd,” it makes all the difference in our lives. Those who succeed to the highest levels often are those who are told they are going “the wrong way.” You can use the poem as a basis for your essay. In fact, I’d like that. We can discuss the meaning through e-mail if you’d like.
NOTE: The thesis MUST contain wording pertaining to your decision or the event you are discussing! It must contain topic and comment, no facts! No announcements of what is to come later in the paper.
EXAMPLES of Causal Thesis Statements:
Taking a job as a night clerk in a convenience store was the worst decision of my life.
Deciding to have a child was the most important choice I ever made.
Because of my horrible working conditions, I made the choice to quit my job.
Giving up drugs and alcohol was the hardest thing I ever had to do.
The most agonizing decision I ever made was to….
The Supreme Court decision regarding (x topic) turned out to be a detriment (or beneficial) to the nation.
Number of Pages: 4 Pages
Page Line Spacing: Double spaced (Default)